September 20, 2021

PROJECT LOG: #PoisonIvy [5-9-17] Hashtag Mutt?

I always find myself thinking of new, unique things that I can do to my 1G build. In the modern age, it seems like all DSM’s are built the same. Clean, nice paint, a good drop, and a decent set of wheels. Which is perfectly fine, but I miss the creativity that the DSM scene used to promote. Back in the day, you were always seeing different stuff that was very clever at the very least.

Any time I look for an idea from other DSM’s whether it be from a YouTube video, a project log, blog, social media groups and pages, I seldom find anything. So recently, I began looking elsewhere. I have been involved with DSM’s for so long that I have no idea what kind of trends, common mods, and other creative ingenuity lies within other car cultures.  Stepping outside of the DSM world and into other communities and forms of motorsports seems to be a pretty sweet adventure that can allow me to implement some new ideas into my DSM.

Words By AJ Hunsinger // Images By AJ Hunsinger

Apart from being involved with DSM’s for the last decade or more, I have also been around dirt oval track racing my entire life. I am uncertain about some things in life but one thing that I do know, is that I am a race car driver. It’s in my blood. My ancestors before me were also race car drivers. So naturally, I find interest in performance benefits and other things that can further assist you on the track with my race cars and DSM’s.

Poison Ivy, for whatever reason, has been my template to fuel my creativeness side of me. The engine bay is a prime example. All of my DSM’s prior had either a black or white engine bay, or the same color as the exterior of the car. Not Poison Ivy. Something just clicked and I decided I no longer wanted to do the same thing as everyone else. Poison Ivy had to be different. It all started with the engine bay and snowballed from there.

Bright green engine bay, push button start, engine bay push button start, Evo ECU, weight reduced, gutted, rough exterior, rough paint, and beautiful where it counts. She is her own car and sort of has a “rat rod” look going on. At the end of the day, I just want her to be the fastest car around here. That’s it. That’s been the same goal I’ve had regardless of where I lived my entire life.

I have been continuously working on and modifying her all winter and all of this year, with that same mindset. My immediate plans are to put a cage in her once she is back up and running and can be driven to the garage. Along with the roll cage, I will be installing 2 aluminum racing seats up front.

With weight being my main focus all year so far, I needed to get as much weight out as possible before putting the cage in. The interior of the car is now fully gutted of all the interior plastics, wiring that isn’t needed, the bulky automatic seat belt system removed, misc. relays, even metal brackets and such that were spotwelded to the chassis.

Another weight reduction area I will be focusing on is Lexan windows. I will not be buying pre-made Lexan windows, but will instead be making my own. I will be installing them so that they are either held in with rivets or zues buttons. They will not allow me to roll them down, which is fine with me as she will be a track car that can still roll into local car meets on a nice enough night. I will most likely make each door window a two piece design that I can separate them quickly to get some air into the car while driving on the street.

I will also be doing Lexan front and rear windshields as well as the small side windows. The side windows, I will install a duct or scoop to direct air to my rear brakes. Although this is not needed for drag racing, it will allow me the possibility to run on a road course with an added benefit of cooling my rear brakes.

A fuel cell will be added to the rear of the car. I will be cutting out my spare tire hump in the hatch floor and mounting the top of the fuel cell flush with the floor to keep the center gravity as low as I can without getting too crazy. I will be losing a good amount of weight by dropping the stock fuel tank assembly. Once the fuel cell is in, I will be modifying the stock fuel door and running a length of clear hose as a fuel neck with direct access to the fuel cell. That should look pretty through the Lexan hatch windshield.

As for the look I am going for, I have the perfect mix in mind. Imagine incorporating drag racing, road racing, and drift car aesthetics into a DSM. That is what Poison Ivy will look like. A total mutt, but a good mix of functionality and aesthetics.

I would be lying to you if I said that I always enjoy working on my DSM’s, because I don’t always like to. That is probably due to the fact that there is a very large difference between repairing something and modifying something. Doing unique things that you don’t see in many DSM’s, but rather in different types of car scenes and various types of racing, makes things that much more interesting. I honestly don’t see how I could ever get bored if I continue this process.

Hopefully, this car will show fellow DSM enthusiasts that you can be creative when building your DSM. In other car scenes, especially in the drifting world, everyone builds their car for themselves. And the best part, nobody else within that community will say anything but positive things about their work. That’s the way it should be in any car community.

Justin Rivera’s #theGreenHornet is exactly what I am talking about. He built his car for himself. While it encouraged and motivated many people, there were (and are) many many individuals that hate the car.